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Tejano exhibit blends cultures

By Glenn Evans
Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:15 a.m.

Two cultures blended in an art form known as Tejano is evidenced in the works of 13 Texas artists on exhibit through Oct. 26 at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts.

Mexican and Texan concepts and history blend so naturally, in fact, that the observer is unlikely to distinguish one influence from the other in sculptures, paintings, pen-and-ink works, photographs and other media represented in, TEJANO: Contemporary Latin American Artists of Texas.

"I don't think so," museum Director Renee Hawkins said. "In general, I would say Hispanics use more color in their work. But we've got photos, we've got line work with pen and ink."

And then there are the drawings Rosemary Meza-Desplas of Dallas crafts, often sewing her own hair into the design.

One miniature among the displays depicts a children's lemonade stand, a kind lemon tree lowering a bough to give the youngsters her fruit.

Halloween approaches, and show curator John Hillier scared up ample art for el Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

It's not supposed to be scary.

Hawkins said the Hispanic culture counts itself among those which honor their deceased ancestors with a sincerity that's revealed in art arising from themes of the spiritual day.

"They seem to have a very healthy respect for the dead," she said. "And they go to the cemeteries to celebrate the circle of life with their families."

There is a skeleton in the show.

"It's not a scary skeleton," she said. "It's pink with flowers in it."

The show had its opening reception Sept. 14 and has welcomed visitors since then including many arriving on buses.

"We've had a lot of groups come in and tour it," Hawkins said. "St. Mary's (Catholic School) came in this morning, and Tatum's been here. We're doing art projects with kids' groups, teaching them about the Day of the Dead, teaching them it's not scary but a day to honor your relatives."



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